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Kangaroo - The Australian Story

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Kangaroo - The Australian Story

Published 1951

Maureen O'Hara, Peter Lawford and Richard Boone in Australia with Chips Rafferty and Bud Tingwell.

This was Twentieth Century Fox's first of many productions in Australia.

The promos for this movie say it all. Watch the film and compare:

"Tribute to greatness...TO-NIGHT SCREEN HISTORY IS "Kangaroo," the first feature film in Technicolor produced by Hollywood in Australia, makes its debut before distinguished audiences at gala charity previews in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Port Augusta (S.A.) ...memorable occasions to mark the beginning of a new phase of this great enterprise ..."

"SOON all Australia will be seeing the motion picture that has excited world-wide interest...Two years to make but worth waiting for. A motion picture of Australia - for Australia - expertly made as only Hollywood knows how!"

"The continent time forgot...See the wild aborigines of Australia dance the blood-tingling corroboree. See giant lizards, wombats, dingos, bull ants, extinct everywhere else for 60,000,000 years"

"They have caught the thunder of thirst-crazed herds, the scream of the boomerang, and a bull-whip fight never before seen on the screen"

"The cameras record the sight and sound of aborigines in the exciting dance of the corroboree"


"The Cry of Mighty Adventure!"

Run time 83 mins
Producer Robert Bassler
Production Company Twentieth Century Fox
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English
Contact Information <a href="">Video Cellar</a>


Directed by
Lewis Milestone

Written by
Martin Berkeley
Harry Kleiner

Produced by
Robert Bassler

Original Music by
Sol Kaplan

Cinematography by
Charles G. Clarke

Film Editing by
Nick DeMaggio

Art Direction by
Mark-Lee Kirk
Lyle R. Wheeler

Music by
Alfred Newman

Maureen O'Hara...Dell McGuire
Peter Lawford...Richard Connor
Finlay Currie...Michael McGuire
Richard Boone...John W. Gamble
Chips Rafferty...Trooper 'Len' Leonard
Letty Craydon...Kathleen
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell...Matt
Guy Doleman...Pleader (uncredited)


Reviewer: bullie89 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2012
Subject: Kangaroo restored by The Video Cellar
The Magician's at The Video Cellar have done it again! The source of this film was washed out and no matter how many times it was fiddled with it was never quite right. I am featuring films from The Video Cellar (where I include the name in the tags by saying 'This Film has been Conserved by The Video Cellar') on my new YouTube channel. This is an incredible job and I have been encouraging folks on YouTube to subscribe and download the films in this fantastic collection!

Am waiting for Becky Sharp as that is a disaster as well as The Constant Woman and That Uncertain Feeling with Merle Oberon. As You Like It with Olivier as well.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Reviewer: Pellicule - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2011
Subject: Kangaroo
Well worth a look for anyone interested in the Australian film industry and its invasion by foreign producers during the nineteen fifties. It also shows what US studio executives thought at the time was a viable way to market the land down under to the masses - Fox have been trying ever since, via the two Smileys, Bootmen, Garage Days, and the ultimate Australian story (and box office flop) Australia.

Even though it's a second eleven in terms of creative team (Lewis Milestone's best days were behind him), and the cast is also only fair average (Maureen O'Hara, Lawford and Boone), it's a chance to see Rafferty and Tingwell working for the man, and a chance to see how stampedes, Aborigines, and Australian fauna, could be sold as exotically interesting (just like Australia tried, many years later).

Probably only one star as a film, but four for its cultural implications if you're interested in that kind of thing. Thanks to the uploader and may he continue to keep uploading old Australian films (he's a better resource than the NFSA).

By the way, the term abo is currently deemed to be derogatory, offensive and racist in Australia, a rough equivalent of the "n" word in America. Rolf Harris recently apologized for using it in his song, and removed the offending verse.

Oh and as an update, I see a few others have penned words of praise. Well if they can't get a laugh out of all the animals Maureen O'Hara encounters in the first five minutes - the standard wombat moments beloved of Hollywood in Australia, not to mention the indigenous fauna - perhaps they should head off to a zoo ... and leave the rest of us to enjoy our camp movies. And the anime ...
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 30, 2010
Subject: OK Flick
It doesn't live up to the producers billing as a great achievement in anything in particular, but the movie itself was fine. Acting was good, script was good, action was good, but it was only a snap shot of hard times by cattlemen and thieves out to do them in. It could have just as easily been done in California or Texas or anywhere there are cattle and the script/outcome would have been about the same. The mere fact that Hollywood uses derogatory terminology shouldn't surprise anyone because for years prior and even after this film many movies used the term "Boy" in referring to both Afro Americans as well as bell-hops, waiters, bus boys and so on..
Reviewer: carlo subterfuge - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 17, 2010
Subject: really worth a look
honestly the previous reviewer's opinion is devoid of aesthetic intuition or interest. this movie is richly evocative of an imaginary Australia; the early technicolor speaks for itself. besides the willife crawling everywhere in the outback scenes, the picture overall is full of interesting dialogue and details of late 1800s sydney harbor 'color'; richard boone is excellent, and peter lawford has non-gray hair. perhaps the previous reviewer should stick with the anime on here and leave the films alone.
Reviewer: FP - - January 21, 2009
Subject: Completely devoid of anything
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport.

Honestly, this movie offers nothing.

Remember, don't mistreat the abos, if anyone is watchin'.
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